Defence has announced the shortlisting of two tenderers – BAE Systems Australia with the AMV35 and Rheinmetall with the Boxer CRV – to participate in the next stage of the evaluation for the LAND 400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) competition, known as the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA).
Both tenderers have been assessed as offering competitive solutions with designs based on capabilities that are already in service with other nations, stated Kim Gillis, Deputy Secretary, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG).
The down-selection announcement means that General Dynamics Land Systems, which joined forces with Thales Australia and Kongsberg to offer the LAV(CRV), and Team Sentinel, primed by Elbit Systems of Australia with the Sentinel II, are both now out of contention.
“When introduced into service, Army will have a capability which represents a quantum leap in protection for our soldiers, while providing enhanced sensors and weapon systems for the crew,” Gillis said in a statement.
BAE Systems’ AMV35 integrates a version of the Patria 8×8 AMV (Armoured Modular Vehicle) that is close to that being introduced in South Africa, and close to that being introduced in the United Arab Emirates, with the BAE Systems Hägglunds manned E35 turret system from the CV9035 as used by the Netherlands and Denmark.
The decision to take the turret off the CV9035, which features a 35mm Bushmaster III automatic cannon, was made with a view to offering the best possible lethality package, although commonality with the LAND 400 Phase 3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) would also be an obvious advantage.
Rheinmetall has offered the Boxer base mobility platform fitted with the LANCE two-man 30mm turret, forming the Boxer CRV.
While the Boxer being offered is in line with vehicles delivered to Germany and the Netherlands, the turret for the 38 tonne Boxer CRV incorporates some advanced features beyond those inherent in the LANCE turret system that is in service with the Spanish Marine Corps.
Northrop Grumman is providing input to the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture as part of the offering, as well as bringing knowledge of current and emerging US programs.
Meanwhile, Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry, announced the completion of a review of opportunities to improve Australian industry involvement in LAND 400 Phase 2.
Defence is set to facilitate workshops around Australia where companies will be able to showcase their capabilities to the international manufacturers that are leading the bids, Pyne stated.
These activities will result in the development of costed options for differing levels of Australian industry participation in acquisition and support including: an option that includes Australian-made components; an assembled-in-Australia option; and an option for a higher level of Australian manufacturing. All options will be required to include through-life support conducted in Australia.
“The Turnbull government is committed to maximising Australian industry involvement during the next stage of the evaluation process, and Defence will continue to work collaboratively with companies as part of a broader Australian industry program,” Pyne said.